PROJECTING THE NEW AGE
IT’S INTERACTIVE ART FOR THE DIGITAL ERA. IF YOU PAY A VISIT TO THIS LOCAL ARTIST DURING OPEN STUDIOS, BE PREPARED TO PLAY
Digital innovation has disrupted some of our core industries – fashion, media and retail. It’s also turning the art world on its head, but one Gold Coast artist has capitalised on the power of digital to turn her creativity into an impressive portfolio.
Tamborine Mountain new media and visual projection artist Alinta Krauth is a true child of the new digital age. She creates “projection maps” on large public buildings and much of her art portfolio is available to millions of people online, through the click of a button.
It’s a far cry from the insular and stuffy art world of yesteryear.
Alinta, like many artists, has discovered the Internet offers artists the power to sidestep the old barriers to entry and connect directly with clients and art lovers.
“It’s one of the few careers where you get to have a voice and say things to the public and have the public respect what you’re saying,” says Alinta.
“I’m definitely interested in getting across a message to an audience that might not necessarily have heard that message.
“There are some really good opportunities for art and for the kind of art that I do. It’s about finding big commissions rather than selling into private homes, because it’s projection art. As time goes by it will be easier for the private buyer to have what I do in their home. At the moment you’d have to have a pretty big set up.”
On May 16 and 17, Alinta will invite her audience into her workspace to be part of the creative journey during Open Studios of the Scenic Rim.
Open Studios of the Scenic Rim is now in its seventh year and is a celebration of art and culture featuring more than 80 artists.
The event is an initiative of the Scenic Rim Regional Council and celebrates the region’s rich and diverse artistic and cultural community.
The month-long event runs across five weekends, finishing in Canungra and Boonah on May 30 and 31.
Alinta will be the artist in residence at Larkin Art Projects, North Tamborine, where visitors will be offered “an immersive digital experience” as they walk through her projection mapping on to sculptural pieces.
“My plan is to turn the space into an interactive light room, using projection,” she says. “The space will also be aurally immersive, with speakers set up. This will be a chance for people to interact with the space.”
Alinta grew up on Tamborine Mountain and left for university with plans to study journalism and psychology.
But once at uni she was naturally drawn towards classes about the newly emerging digital world and chose instead to focus on visual art.
“I thought, ‘Bugger it, I’ll do what I know and what I’m good at, even though there’s not necessarily a future in it’. Now the places that you can take your art are so vast. The type of technologies I’ve had to learn to do what I’m doing has been immense.
“As an artist I have to know a little bit about how to code, I do a lot of projection mapping – big artwork on buildings; and I also create internet art – art you can see through a browser.
“These things were very much in their preliminary stages when I was at university 10 years ago. We were still using VHS tapes at uni. Now digital art is mainstream. It’s part entertainment and part art.
“When you’re an artist in that space you have to continually keep up with technology, unlike a painter or a sculptor.”
Alinta’s interactive online and projection work has been shown in exhibitions, journals and festivals in Townsville, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canada, the UK and New York.
Alinta says she takes much of her inspiration from the environment and themes in her work include biodiversity and climate change.
“Those are the things that come with living where we live,” she says. “They are the things that are important to me because I see them around me. Projection mapping is often seen as entertainment. Think of the big festivals like VIVID and White Night in Melbourne and even during the G20 Summit in Brisbane. The audience doesn’t necessarily see it as art. They come and look at it, say ‘Yeah that’s cool’ and then walk away and don’t think of it again.”
Alinta says, despite the rise of digital art among mainstream audiences, new media artists still battle to have their work recognised in more traditional circles. She hopes that in the future her work is seen in more mainstream galleries.
“It’s hard to get the art galleries to respect your work in their context,” she says.
“People working with technology constantly make these little experimental pieces and don’t always have the time or place to be making masterpieces like a sculptor might.
“My goal is to take the technology that’s currently seen as entertainment and take it into an art gallery context.
“I do start with more traditional mediums. I start by drawing, painting, or with film and photography. I then digitalise those things and take them to the computer where I use much newer ways of creating art.”
Alinta says that during her Open Studios artist-in-residency visitors will be able to play with the digital games she has created and see what effect they can have on her projection art.
“My work helps people’s digital literacy,” she says. “A lot of people come to my works and feel a bit scared to play with it because they think they will do the wrong thing. But it’s interactive artwork … you’re allowed to play and see how what you do affects the visuals on the screen.”
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